The Sopranos, Seinfeld and Sinatra

It would be hard to compose a list of the most important TV shows of all time without including Seinfeld and The Sopranos.  And both had a Frank Sinatra connection, in the form of multiple references to Sinatra on Seinfeld, and Sinatra music on The Sopranos as well as two actual Sinatras as guest stars on the HBO drama, plus a noteworthy but unintentional Seinfeld/Sinatra connection.

On one episode of Seinfeld, Jerry’s father Morty Seinfeld checks into a luxury suite at the Plaza hotel in New York and remarks “This is the kind of room Sinatra stays in”.

In another Seinfeld episode, George is irritated by the $75 fee being charged by a chiropractor and says “What, am I seeing Sinatra in there?”

The Sinatra presence on The Sopranos was considerable.  In one episode, Tony Soprano completes a speech about Italian pride with the words “Francis Albert”.  The entire Frank Sinatra recording of It Was A Very Good Year was featured at the beginning of one Sopranos episode, and in another, a vintage Sinatra recording is playing softly in the background as Tony recovers in the hospital from a gunshot wound.  And then there’s Paulie’s return from incarceration, when his welcome home party features his favorite song, which for some unknown reason is Nancy, by Frank Sinatra.  Even Big Pussy’s demise at sea includes the Sinatra recording of Baubles, Bangles and Beads, before Big Pussy goes down in a hail of bullets.

Frank Sinatra Jr. plays himself in one Sopranos episode in which he’s a participant in a high stakes poker game.  In another Sopranos episode, Nancy Sinatra also plays herself, entertaining a few of the guys including Phil Leotardo, played by Frank Vincent.

There was a Sopranos episode called Rat Pack, in which Tony is given a poster of Frank, Dean and Sammy.  And throughout the Sopranos’ episodes, the wall of Tony Soprano’s office displayed a poster of Frank Sinatra’s notorious youthful mug shot.

But there is one unintentional Sinatra/Seinfeld connection that would have to be considered poignant.  The night of May 14th, 1998, on which the highly watched Seinfeld finale was broadcast, was also the night Frank Sinatra passed away, at the age of 82.

From the performer of a Frank Sinatra Tribute, and a big fan of Seinfeld, The Sopranos, and of course. . .Frank Sinatra.

Frank Sinatra Jr. and Robert Patrick on an episode of The Sopranos


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